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Mass mobilization on political, social, religious and tribal levels is required to contain the spread of novel coronavirus in Balochistan. The cases of novel coronavirus continue to increase in Balochistan like in other parts of the country. So far, close to 100 people have been tested positive for the deadly virus, which has infected over 2,55,000 people across the globe with more than 10,000 deaths worldwide.

Chief Minister Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan needs to contact and take all political, religious leaders and tribal elites on board to battle the deadly virus effectively. So far, the Chief Minister has focused on official meetings to closely monitor the situation and sensitize the public through social and formal media. Mr. Jam Kamal had chaired a joint meeting of opposition and treasury members in the chief minister’s secretariat the other day. However, he needs to go beyond the legislative assembly and should contact all mainstream political and religious leaders of the province who are not part of the assembly to discuss ways and means to battle the virus. An all-parties conference on one point agenda i.e corona and its containment should be convened to create awareness among the people by the provincial government. By doing this, the government and opposition political parties would jointly shoulder this burden. Since the government alone cannot battle this pandemic, the society in general and political forces, in particular, should be involved to contain the virus.

First phase of creating awareness and social distancing against this battle against coronavirus is in our hands. The second phase i.e its spread would not be in our hands in view of our poor governance and capacity to cope with the situation. So all energies should be spent on its containment rather than cure, which is still elusive on international level even.

Well, the virus continues to win globally as States are yet to find any vaccine to beat it. Living in one of the impoverished regions of the planet, the first step to contain the virus is imperative. The developed world including Europe, China, and America, has been forced by the virus to lock down cities and declare emergencies to contain the virus. Then, with limited resources and poorly equipped manpower, how can we battle it?

In rural Balochistan, most of the people are unaware of this pandemic. They take it very easy and public gatherings of tribal, religious people are still underway. The APC would at least bring the government, opposition and all mainstream nationalist and religious political parties to launch a joint movement to create awareness about the disease. Especially, the religious scholars play an important role, they must be taken into confidence and convinced to deliver Friday sermons in this regard to create awareness among the people. With this approach and strategy, the impacts of this pandemic can be mitigated. Otherwise, the situation is likely to get worse if the proper strategy was not adopted to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Jam Kamal deserves to be appreciated for being here in Quetta and personally monitoring the situation. However, he needs to go beyond the official meetings and briefings and take all political and religious forces on board to battle this epidemic.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.